Zimbabwe international team sleep on streets ahead of World Cup qualifier

Zimbabwe head coach Peter de Villiers
Zimbabwe head coach Peter de Villiers

Zimbabwe national rugby team have staged a protest by sleeping on the street of Tunisia ahead of the World Cup Qualifier game in African Gold Cup clash against the north African country on Saturday.

According to reports, it is understood that the team had to endure a six-hour wait at passport control where it was claimed their passports were confiscated and the squad was forced to pay £530 for visas.

To make things worse, the hotel at which the team was accommodated was described 'disgusting', forcing them to sleep on the streets.

The report also indicated that 2007 World Cup-winning coach Pieter de Villiers, who is in charge of the Zimbabwe team paid for the meals of the players.

Zimbabwe player Takudzwa Mandiwanza told Zimbabwean radio station Capital KFM: “We have not been paid our daily allowances for our duration in Kenya, including our match fees that we did not receive.

"Now we’re in Tunisia, we were detained at the airport for close to six hours, with no allowances given to us.”

Rugby Africa and the Tunisia Rugby Union issued a joint statement apologising to the team management of Zimbabwe team and the players.

"Rugby Africa has been made aware of the difficulties encountered by the Zimbabwean Rugby team – the Sables – with regards to their accommodation in Tunisia.

"We would like to reassure the Zimbabwean Ministry of Sports, Zimbabwe Rugby Union, and all partners and fans that the situation was addressed immediately, and an acceptable solution has been found this morning. Tunisia Rugby Union took the Sables management to visit another hotel which was accepted.

"Rugby Africa and Tunisia Rugby Union would like to express their sincere apologies to the Sables team and management for this unfortunate situation. This does not reflect the standards of the Rugby Africa Gold Cup competition and we sincerely regret any prejudice caused."